Xjenza Online Vol. 2 Iss. 2 - October 2014
A Fruitful fly forward: The role of the fly in drug discovery for neu- rodegeneration
Michelle Briffa, Neville Vassallo, Ruben J. Cauchi1
Michelle Briffa (email@example.com)
Drosophila, fruit fly, drug discovery, neurodegeneration, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD) are increasing in prevalence and the need for novel disease-modifying therapies is critical. Identifying compounds that modify disease progression has been a struggle - mainly due to the insufficient knowledge regarding the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of these diseases. Traditional high-throughput screening in vitro have previously identied positive hits. However, subsequent validation experiments in vivo, rendered them ineffective and/or toxic. Drosophila models of neurodegenerative disease can be eectively exploited in drug screens for the identication of compounds and target disease mechanisms. This review sheds light on how Drosophila models of neurodegeneration can aid the therapeutic discovery process through the use of chemical and genetic suppressor/enhancer screens and other existing techniques. Integrating Drosophila models of neurodegeneration to the drug discovery process holds great promise for the enhanced rate of therapeutic-modifying compound discovery.